Straight from the Tap

How to Avoid Costly Leaks this Winter

01/10/2018

This week is providing a brief respite from single digit temperatures and the perfect opportunity to inspect plumbing for leaks.

Similarly to how water main breaks occur more often in winter, cold temperatures also make home plumbing more prone to leaks and cracks. Even if a frozen pipe doesn’t burst, freezing and thawing can put stress on pipes as they expand and contract with the temperature changes. This stress will often result in leaks, particularly at joints and connections.

Water leaks can be costly and more common than you might think. Nearly 10% of homes have leaks wasting upwards of 90 gallons of water every day. The most common locations for home plumbing leaks are faucets, toilets, and showerheads. Most water leaks are easily fixed, but if left unchecked leaks can run up unnecessary charges on your water bill and cause damage to your property.

If you suspect you may have a leak, there are some simple ways you can check.

How to Check for a Leak

  • Turn off anything that uses water in your home.
  • Check areas around faucets, toilets, water heaters, etc. for signs of a leak like puddles of water or drips.
  • Find your meter. On the meter, locate the blue star, white triangle, or red circle-shaped test wheel on the register face.
  • If the test wheel is spinning even though no water on your property is being used, you most likely have a leak somewhere.
  • You may have to contact a plumber if you are unable to identify the source of a leak.

Portal Leak Notifications

Create an account at My.ClevelandWater.com to track actual water usage and sign up for leak notifications. Having the ability to monitor your water usage means that you can quickly and easily spot a potential issue and address it before it becomes a major problem. If there is an unusual spike in your water usage or continuous usage is showing at times when you aren't using water it could be the sign of a leak. 

Additionally, customers with meters 1” and smaller receive an automatic leak notification email if your meter registers continuous usage for 7 days (168 consecutive hours of increasing reads).

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